3. Focused or COAST3—Liver and Gallbladder

  1. Gregory R. Lisciandro
  1. Stephanie Lisciandro

Published Online: 6 DEC 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118760772.ch3

Focused Ultrasound Techniques for the Small Animal Practitioner

Focused Ultrasound Techniques for the Small Animal Practitioner

How to Cite

Lisciandro, S. (2014) Focused or COAST3—Liver and Gallbladder, in Focused Ultrasound Techniques for the Small Animal Practitioner (ed G. R. Lisciandro), John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118760772.ch3

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 DEC 2013
  2. Published Print: 10 JAN 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118369593

Online ISBN: 9781118760772



  • abdominal fluid score (AFS);
  • AFAST3;
  • biliary obstruction;
  • focused liver and gallbladder exam;
  • multifocal mass lesions;
  • thoracic FAST (TFAST3)


The goals of using focused ultrasound examination for evaluation of the liver include recognizing focal and multifocal mass lesions and evaluating diffuse parenchymal changes and changes in echogenicity. The goals for focused exam of the gallbladder include recognizing abnormalities of the gallbladder wall and luminal disease processes, and identification of signs that may support biliary obstruction. The focused liver and gallbladder exam can help guide clinical decisions by providing initial information that may not be otherwise evident by traditional means without ultrasound. As a general rule with all abdominal focused exams, AFAST3 with the application of the abdominal fluid scoring (AFS) system should be performed to avoid missing free fluid of the peritoneal and retroperitoneal spaces as well as the pleural and pericardial spaces via the AFAST3 and TFAST3 diaphragmatico-hepatic (DH) view. AFAST3 with focused liver and gallbladder exams ensures that intra-abdominal bleeding, other effusions, and peritonitis are not missed.